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Order Promulgating Amendments To The Rules of Civil Procedure

Supreme Court of Minnesota

June 20, 2019

ORDER PROMULGATING AMENDMENTS TO THE RULES OF CIVIL PROCEDURE

          Lorie S. Gildea, Chief Justice

         In a report filed on August 1, 2017, the Advisory Committee on the Rules of Civil Procedure recommended that amendments be made to the timing provisions in those rules. Specifically, the committee recommended that all days, including weekends and holidays, be counted when calculating time periods and deadlines established by the rules, and that appropriate amendments to time periods stated in the rules be made to reflect that counting system. A petition filed by the Minnesota State Bar Association in 2016 also proposed, and supported, amendments to the Rules of Civil Procedure to conform to the time structure used in the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.

         Thus, the advisory committee recommended amendments to several rules to adopt deadlines based "on a 7-, 14-, 21-, and 28-day system," in place of the existing 5-, 10-, and 20-day deadlines. These proposed rule changes embrace similar changes made in the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, in 2009, to require the counting of all days-"including intermediate Saturdays, Sundays, and legal holidays" when calculating a rule-imposed deadline. See Fed. R. Civ. P. 6, advisory comm. note-2009 Amendments. With this counting system, all days are treated the same (except when the last day of the event falls on Saturday, Sunday, or legal holiday, in which case counting continues forward to the next day that is not a Saturday, Sunday, or legal holiday), and complicated or counterintuitive counting outcomes are eliminated. See id. (explaining that under the former counting rules, a 10-day period "not infrequently ended later than [a] 14-day period" that started at the same time).

         We opened a public-comment period and on December 19, 2017, held a public hearing on the recommendation to amend the rules to address time deadlines. No substantial objections to that recommendation were presented. We agreed with that recommendation, as well as the committee's separate recommendation to have other advisory committees for court rules consider whether to adopt similar adjustments to time deadlines in other procedural rules, in order to achieve uniformity across practice areas and procedural rules if appropriate. We therefore referred this recommendation to the advisory committees for the General Rules of Practice, the Rules of Criminal Procedure, and the Rules of Civil Appellate Procedure. See Order Promulgating Amendments to the Rules of Civ. Proc, No. ADM04-8001, at 2 (Minn, filed Mar. 13, 2018).

         The advisory committees for the General Rules of Practice and the Rules of Civil Appellate Procedure recommended amendments to the time deadlines in those rules; the advisory committee for the Rules of Criminal Procedure recommended no amendments to the time deadlines in those rules. Our orders adopting time-calculation amendments to the General Rules of Practice and the Rules of Civil Appellate Procedure are filed today, at the same time as this order.

         We acknowledge the thorough work by the Advisory Committee for the Rules of Civil Procedure, as well as the Minnesota State Bar Association, in recommending amendments that simplify the calculation of deadlines and unify time-based procedures in the rules.

         Based on all of the files, records, and proceedings herein, IT IS HEREBY ORDERED THAT:

         1. The attached amendments to the Rules of Civil Procedure are prescribed and promulgated to be effective as of January 1, 2020. The rules as amended shall apply to all cases filed on or after that date.

         2. The recommendation to amend the forms contained in the Appendix of Forms, see Minn. R. Civ. P. 84, to conform as appropriate to the rule amendments adopted here, is referred to State Court Administration for implementation.

         3. The Advisory Committee comments are included for convenience and do not reflect court approval of the comments.

         AMENDMENTS TO THE RULES OF CIVIL PROCEDURE

         [Note: In the following amendments, deletions are indicated by a line drawn through the words and additions are indicated by a line drawn under the words.]

         RULE 4. SERVICE

         4.042. Service of the Complaint

         If the defendant shall appear within ten 14 days after the completion of service by publication, the plaintiff, within five 7, days after such appearance, shall serve the complaint, by copy, on the defendant or the defendant's attorney. The defendant shall then have at least ten-21 days in which to answer the same.

         Advisory Committee Comment-2019 Amendments

Rule 4.042 is amended as part of the extensive amendments made to the timing provisions of the rules. These amendments implement the adoption of a standard "day" for counting deadlines under the rules-counting all days regardless of the length of the period and standardizing the time periods, where practicable, to a 7-, 14-, 21- or 28-day schedule.
The amendment to Rule 4.042 also lengthens the time to respond to a Complaint served following service of the Summons by publication, to 21 days. This is the same period a party has following other forms of service of the Complaint, and there is no reason to require a shorter period. See Rule 12.01. This amendment is intended to obviate at least some motions for extension of the time to answer that are encountered under the shorter deadline in the previous rule.

         * * *

         RULE 5. SERVICE AND FILING OF PLEADINGS AND OTHER PAPERS DOCUMENTS

         * * *

         5.05. Filing; Facsimile Transmission

         Except where filing is required by electronic means by rule of court, any document may be filed with the court by facsimile transmission. Filing shall be deemed complete at the time that the facsimile transmission is received by the court and the filed facsimile shall have the same force and effect as the original. Only facsimile transmission equipment that satisfies the published criteria of the Supreme Court shall be used for filing in accordance with this rule.

         Within five 7 days after the court has received the transmission, the party filing the document shall forward the following to the court:

(a) a $25 transmission fee for each SO pages, or part thereof, of the filing;
(b) any bulky exhibits or attachments; and
(c) the applicable filing fee or fees, if any.

         If a document is filed by facsimile, the sender's original must not be filed but must be maintained in the files of the party transmitting it for filing and made available to the court or any party to the action upon request.

         Upon failure to comply with the requirements of this rule, the court in which the action is pending may make such orders as are just, including but not limited to, an order striking pleadings or parts thereof, staying further proceedings until compliance is complete, or . dismissing the action, proceeding, or any part thereof.

         Advisory Committee Comment-2019 Amendments

         Rule 5.05 is amended as part of the extensive amendments made to the timing provisions of the rules. These amendments implement the adoption of a standard "day" for counting deadlines under the rules-counting all days regardless of the length of the period and standardizing the time periods, where practicable, to a 7-, 14-, 21- or 28-day schedule.

         * * *

         RULE 6. TIME

         6.01. Computation

(a)------Computation of Time Periods, In computing any period of time prescribed or allowed by these rules, by the local rules of any district court, by order of court, or by any applicable statute, the day of the not, event, or default from which the designated period of time begins to run shall not be included. The last day of the period so computed shell be included, unless it is a
•--------Saturday,
•--------Sunday,
•--------legal holiday, or,
•--------when the act to be done is the filing of a document in court, a day on which weather or other conditions result in the closing of the office of the court administrator of the court where the action is pending, or
• whore filing or service is either permitted or required to be made electronically, a day on which unavailability of the computer system used by the court for electronic filing and service makes it impossible to accomplish service or filing, in which event the period runs until the end of the next day that is not one of the aforementioned days.

         (a) Computing Time. The following rules apply in computing any time period specified in these rules, in any local rule or court order, or in any statute that does not specify a method of computing time.

         (1) Period Stated in Days or a Longer Unit of Time. When the period is stated in days or a longer unit of time:

         (A) exclude the day of the event that triggers the period:

         (B) count every day. including intermediate Saturdays. Sundays, and legal holidays: and

         (C) include the last day of the period, but if the last day is a Saturday. Sunday, or legal holiday, the period continues to run until the end of the next day that is not a Saturday. Sunday, or legal holiday.

         (2) Periods Shorter than 7 Days. Only if expressly so provided by any other rule or statute, a time period that is less than 7 days may exclude intermediate Saturdays. Sundays, and legal holidays.

         (3) Period Stated in Hours. When the period is stated in hours:

         (A) begin counting immediately on the occurrence of the event that triggers the period:

         (B) count every hour, including hours occurring during intermediate Saturdays. Sundays, and legal holidays: and

         (C) if the period would end on a Saturday. Sunday, or legal holiday, the period continues to run until the same time on the next day that is not a Saturday. Sunday, or legal holiday.

         (4) Inaccessibility of the Court Administrator's Office. Unless the court orders otherwise, if the court administrator's office is inaccessible:

         (A) on the last day for filing or service under Rule 6.01(a)(1), then the time for filing is extended to the first accessible day that is not a Saturday. Sunday, or legal holiday: or

         (B) during the last hour for filing under Rule 6.01(a)(1), then the time for filing is extended to the same time on the first accessible day that is not a Saturday. Sunday, or legal holiday.

         (b)-----Periods Shorter than 7 Days. When the period of time prescribed or allowed is less than seven days, intermediate Saturdays, Sundays, and legal holidays shall be excluded in the computation.

         (b) "Last Day" Defined. Unless a different time is set by a statute, local rule, or court order, the last day ends:

         (1) for electronic filing, at 11:59 p.m. local Minnesota time: and

         (2) for filing by other means, when the Court Administrator's office is scheduled to close.

         (c) "Next Dav" Defined. The "next day" is determined by continuing to count forward when the period is measured after an event and backward when ...


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